PREPARATION.--The fresh milk from a bitch is triturated in the usual
(The late Dr. Sam. Swan had a proving of this remedy, dog
milk, in the Materia Medica he attempted to publish, but
of which only one volume appeared. The work is now very
rare. The following clinical cases were contributed by
Dr. Philip Rice to the Medical Century, Vol. IX, No.
Lac caninum is a remedy of undoubted value, though not very thoroughly
understood and consequently not very extensively used in this dread
disease. And since a proving has never been made, and since we have to
depend entirely upon clinical reports I feel it my duty to report a few
cases in which a clear demonstration of the value of this remedy was
CASE I.--Bruce McG., aet. 15, dark hair, gray eyes, spare habit, rigid
fibre, nervous, quick, active, called at my office in the evening
complaining of sore throat, worse on right side, and on swallowing.
Headache dull and heavy, slight fever. Inspection revealed tonsils and
fauces congested and angry looking. On right tonsil a patch of membrane
the size of a split pea was seen.
Lycopodium 30x was given. The next morning the entire trouble seemed
to have gone to the left side; with it had come, also, stiff neck and
tongue; profuse flow of saliva; temperature 101 F. Membrane somewhat
larger. Mercurius ruber 30x was given. In the evening the trouble was
worse again on right side, the membrane now entirely covering both
tonsils, temperature 102 F. Limbs ached, back ached, and patient was
restless. Remembering the symptom, "membrane alternates between right
and left sides," and this having been so characteristic, I gave Lac
caninum in the 30th potency. Improvement began immediately and at the
end of the third day the membrane was entirely gone and case discharged
as far as medicine was concerned.
CASE II.--Louisa McG., aet. 13, in temperament exactly like her brother,
the preceding case. Was irritable and listless for two days, but owing
to the fact that the fair began in a few days, to which she was
determined to go, she did not complain. The third day, however, her
mother noticed that she was truly sick and, there being a number of
cases of diphtheria in town, looked into her throat. She found both
tonsils covered with a membrane. I was called and as no other symptoms
could be elicited I gave Sulphur 30x and told them I would call again
in the evening, which I did and found symptoms rapidly developing.
Aching in all the limbs; headache; pain in the throat on swallowing;
worse on the right side; neck and tongue stiff; membrane just the same.
Temperature 101.5; same remedy continued.
Next morning the membrane was the same, pain now in left side, throat
internally and externally oedematous, fauces and uvula glossy or
varnished in appearance. Temperature 102, urine scanty, no thirst.
Apis 30x was now given. In the evening pain back in right side again.
Temperature 102.5. Membrane spreading; stiffness of neck and tongue more
marked and saliva profuse. Not having seen the case till the membrane
had quite generally formed, but the patient being in temperament like
her brother and the pain shifting from side to side, as in his case, I
decided to give her Lac caninum. Improvement began immediately and at
the end of four days the membrane was entirely gone.
CASE III.--The servant girl in the family where cases one and two had
been, Anna B., aet. 17. In temperament the very opposite to the other
cases, being fat, fair and flabby. Complained of pain in right side of
throat on swallowing, neck stiff, tonsil slightly congested. Felt as if
she had a bad cold. Advised her to come to the office and get some
medicine. She had, however, some "dope" on hand and said she guessed
she would take that first. Next evening I was called and found her with
throat much worse. Membrane covering left tonsil entirely, also a narrow
strip of membrane on posterior wall of pharynx, pain in left tonsil on
swallowing, neck and tongue stiff, saliva quite profuse. Temperature
only slightly above normal. Lac caninum 30x was given. Patient never
went to bed and at the end of the second day no trace of membrane could
Now, the symptoms common to all three cases and the only ones
characteristic in each case were, first, both pain and membrane shifting
from side to side; second, stiffness of neck and tongue; third, profuse
saliva; fourth, aching in limbs marked; fifth, entire absence of
prostration; sixth, character of pain was "as if throat was burned raw."
Now, the question will arise in the bacteria man's mind, was this real
diphtheria; were the German's bacteria present? I will answer candidly,
I don't know; I never looked for them.